In compliance with the state mandate to curb storm water run off, the Prince George's County Department of the Environment is considering a proposal that would waive the unpopular impervious surface property tax assessment for their properties if churches agree to preach environmentally friendly sermons or engage in other forms of mental conditioning.
What's the big deal, some will ask.
After all, does the Bible not teach us to be good stewards of God's creation?
God's word also instructs the believer to be on guard against wolves in sheep's clothing.
If governments grant tax code favors to religious organizations for ideological compliance in regards to one issue, what is to prevent them from doing so in regards to more controversial matters?
In the name tolerance and diversity, what if governments granted tax and regulatory relief to congregations supporting gay marriage?
What if a government wanted to promote pluralism and inclusion by lavishing all manner of benefits upon a church that agreed not to lift the name of Jesus above all names but instead only reference a nondescript generic God or no God at all but rather just the Ultimate Concern as formulated by Paul Tillich?
How about putting the shoe on the other foot for a moment?
What if to bolster declining birthrates a government lavished tax favors upon churches promising to preach prolife messages?
It is said that the power to tax is the power to destroy.
Advocates insist that that the program is strictly voluntary.
However, government programs that start off voluntary can easily end up becoming mandatory.
Anybody remember the assurances of if you like your healthcare plan you can keep your healthcare plan?
From one perspective, the program is completely voluntary with no government shocktroops raiding churches failing to put in the environmental upgrades or enunciating church dogma in such a way to win the approval of the state (at least not yet anyway).
Yet from another perspective, aren't churches that refuse to have their very thoughts policed in this manner punished by having to pay the tax?
Courts have forbidden graduation prayers for being less of a mental intrusion.
By Frederick Meekins